Peter Owen, £9.99
The Beautiful Child, By Emma Tennant
Boyd Tonkin is Senior Writer and a columnist at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Literary Editor at The Independent, and before that Social Policy Editor and then Books Editor at the New Statesman magazine. He has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes and has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize. In 2001, he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for literature in translation, and serves on its judging panel every year.
Saturday 22 December 2012
Readers in search of a smart fright this Christmas should devour Emma Tennant's cunning, moody and bone-chilling new story inspired by "The Turn of the Screw", by the shadowy life of Henry James - and the nature of fiction itself, as a kind of haunting.
At Lamb House in Rye, a troubled James scholar investigates the Master's unfinished story of 1902, "The Beautiful Child".
Via flashbacks to James's time and the secretaries who took dictation from him - his "ghost writers", if you like - a sinister tale of spoilt childhood emerges.
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